Monday, December 30, 2019

SC orders Justice press corps to propose guidelines on De Lima trial coverage

The Supreme Court has ordered two media groups covering the Philippine justice beat to submit guidelines for media coverage of Sen. Leila de Lima’s drug case.

In a resolution obtained on Friday, the high court directed the Justice Reporters’ Association (JUROR) and the Justice and Court Reporters’ Association (JUCRA) to file proposed guidelines. The two media organizations have five days to comply with the SC’s order.

The resolution stemmed from the request of online news site Rappler to be allowed to cover hearings of De Lima at the Muntinlupa trial courts. According to the letter sent by the online news site, Judge Lorna Navarro-Domingo—who has since inhibited from the case—has prohibited media access to hearings on the senator’s case.

The SC said that it will defer action on the news site’s request pending the submission and approval of JUCRA and JUROR’s guidelines.

Meanwhile, pending resolution, the tribunal ordered the Muntinlupa RTC to “grant courtroom access to as many media representatives as may be accommodated.” At least four journalists, determined through drawing lots, will be granted access to the court room.

No cameras or any other recording devices would be allowed inside the court.

The senator is facing charges on conspiracy to commit illegal drugs before the courts. She is being accused of having a hand in drug trade proliferation inside the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice secretary.